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smlwld stans: local league update

It dawned on us recently that a lot of local leagues are back in action and we didn’t even realize it.

Going from no local soccer to virtually all the local soccer in mere moments will always make it difficult to keep up, but we at smallworld want to make it easier for you to see the highlights of some of the leagues you may have missed.

To be clear, smallworld’s definition of a “local league” is a amateur league designed to serve a specific city, state, or region. In other words, a local league is an adult league that isn’t national, like the UPSL or NPSL.

For this post, we’ll lay out the structure of the competition (because that looks a lot diferent this year for many leagues), followed by the current table and some notable matches on the horizon. We’ll also predict the champions of each league.

Without further ado, let’s recap the action in smalworld’s favorite local leagues around the nation:

ADASL:

season structure – the pro/rel stalwarts in Atlanta have waxed creative with the Summa Fall Cup. the competition divides all 18 clubs from both divisions into three groups of six. group one is made up of the six top-flight clubs and will send two clubs to the knockout stage. groups two and three consist of the 12 second-division sides, and the winner of each group will join the top two from group one to set up the semifinals.

table – group one is led by Terminus FC, who kicked off their campaign with a 2-1 win over the Georgia Revolution Reserves. that’s the only group one game that’s been played so far, so ADASL juggernauts like Majestic SC and Club ATLetic are still waiting in the wings to challenge Terminus’ spot.

MOBA Upper 90 is off to a flying start in group two after six different players found the scoresheet in a 6-0 drubbing of AFC Clayton. Vinotinto Academy joins them on 3 points courtesy of a 1-0 win over the Revs U23 side. this weekend’s match between VTA and Clayton will tell us lots more about the two winning sides so far. meanwhile, reserve sides Majestic Red and ATLetic Old Boys as well as league newbies Rovers FC are all awaiting their first fixture.

the other Vinotinto in the league, Vinotinto Atlanta (no connection between the two, by the way) also kicked things off with a win and lead group three. in similar fashion as their group two namesake, Vinotinto ATL edged out MOBA Fury (managed by a woman!) for a 1-0 triumph. MOBA Knights and Terminus KLS contested the only draw to date in the Fall Cup, while both the Revs U21 squad and aspiring first-division club Buckhead SC have yet to play a match.

upcoming fixtures – in group one, the two powerhouses will go head-to-head when ATLetic hosts Majestic SC in Dunwoody. that result should set the tone for the 5-game regular season for both clubs.

as previously mentioned, VTA’s tilt with AFC Clayton will tell us exactly how to take Upper 90’s 6-0 win against Clayton last weekend. If Vinotinto win in similar fashion, that’ll indicate a pretty exciting future matchup between VTA and Upper 90. If not, Upper 90 will look even better for their opening day victory.

group three offers a tasty matchup between ambitious side Buckhead SC and Vinotinto ATL. It’ll be a chance for Vinotinto to stay undefeated and a litmus test for Buckhead’s chances of topping the group and getting to the knockout round.

predictions – it’s going to be a really exciting battle at the top of these groups. we see Majestic and Club ATLetic showing their quality and reaching the semis from group one, VTA winning group two and moving forward, and Buckhead SC winning group three. From there, we’ll go with ATLetic beating out Buckhead for the Fall Cup title.

GCPL:

season structure – the GCPL is salvaging a season by creating the five-team Fall Tournament Showcase. it’ll feature a league play style where each team plays every other team twice. the winners of the table are crowned champions, so there won’t be any type of playoff.

table – no table to speak of yet, but that’ll change this Sunday, October 18 when matches get started!

upcoming fixtures – 14th Ward FC out of New Orleans play twice in four days, and the first of those games will come on opening day when they travel to Mobile, AL to face Mobile United. smallworld isn’t familiar with either of those sides, so it’ll be interesting to see what they offer. meanwhile, the other match on the 18th will put Group C Fam Louisiana Krewe up against Alexandria PBFC.

predictions – we can’t go with anybody but the Krewe here. Crescent City should pose a real challenge as well, and it’s impossible to know how the other three clubs will perform, but we’re going to stick to what we know and back LA Krewe to take the title.

Maryland Majors:

season structure – things look a lot like normal at MD Majors. similar to the ADASL’s adaptation for this year, there’s a first division alongside a two-pronged second division. everyone’s favorite Maryland club, Motorik FC Alexandria, sits in the Capital Beltway division of the second tier, and along with the rest of the league, they’re coming up on the end of the season.

table – it’s the best possible mayhem at the top of the 1st Division standings. unsurprisingly, Christos FC sits atop the group, but they’re level on points with three other clubs. one of those three, MD Inter, is also level on +9 goal difference with Christos, and they still have to face each other on the final matchday. until then, Christos get to make up a game in hand and potentially distance themselves from at least one of three close rivals.

In the Metro 2nd Division, Sure Sport and Annapolis United 2 have two points on the rest of the pack and a game in hand on third-placed Argyle FC. interestingly, those two league leaders won’t meet, so it could well come down to goal differential over the final few matches. Sure Sport have a 2-advantage in that category as well as a lighter strength of schedule, so it looks like theirs to lose.

Motorik’s Capital Beltway 2nd Division is pretty closely contested at the moment and should come down to the wire. Dream Team FC are in front with twelve points from five games, while Maryland United breathe down their necks at 10 points from four games. behind those two, Fredericksburg City United and DMV Rangers could draw level with Dream Team if they win this weekend, as both sit on nine points from four matches. Motorik aren’t really in the title conversation, sadly, but are still in a respectable sixth of twelve.

upcoming fixtures – The 1st Division provides the most exciting match on paper this weekend. La Dolce Vita and Steel Pulse, the two clubs equal with Christos in matches played as well as points, face off on Sunday the 18th, and the implications are nothing less than title hopes living or dying. even a draw would likely be less than enough for those two to challenge Christos, so that one should be filled with passionate play.

Annapolis United 2 are off this weekend, so Sure Sport get the chance to step in front of them and take control of the Metro 2nd Division. Meade United are the club standing in their way, and it’s not a difficult match for Sure Sport by the looks of it. A home tilt against the worst club in the league shouldn’t cause them to stumble, but they’ll have to take care of business to put themselves in control.

An absolutely crucial Capital Beltway battle will headline the weekend in the second tier, as second and third place go head to head. MD United host Fredericksburg in a battle that will eliminate at least one of the two from truly competing for the title. A draw would likely eliminate them both, especially Fredericksburg, but a win would put quite a bit of pressure on Dream Team at the top.

predictions – I see Christos finishing strong and finding a way to come out of a tight race at the top to win the 1st Division. It won’t be made easy for them, though, and the pressure will be on them throughout to avoid a slip-up. Sure Sport are, ironically, the most sure bet for me as far as potential winners in Maryland Majors this year. They’ll beat Meade United and then all that’ll be required for a Metro 2nd Division title is some result on the final day. I also think Dream Team will take care of their final two opponents and finish the season as Capital Beltway 2nd Division champions.

OVPL:

season structure – much like the GCPL’s Fall Tournament Showcase, the OVPL season has five clubs playing two matches against each opponent. it’s unclear whether or not there will be any sort of knockout stage, but because it’s not specified, it seems like the regular season is all there is.

table – there’s a clear gulf in quality between the top three and the bottom two. Kings Hammer SC have asserted their dominance early, winning their first two matches by a combined 14 goals and earning clean sheets from both games. Northern Kentucky FC also sit on 6 points, but have played one more match, a loss to Valhalla FC. Valhalla only have that 5-3 win on their record thus far, so it’s yet to be seen whether or not they can follow up on a good start. Dana Gardens FC sit in fourth with 0 points and a -10 goal differential after two matches, while Clermont County FC are in an even worse predicament, sitting on 0 points with a -14 GD.

upcoming fixtures – this weekend will be important on both sides of the table. at the bottom, Dana Gardens face Clermont today, Friday the 16th, in a match that both sides will see as absolutely crucial for building some sort of momentum. Kings Hammer, meanwhile, have two home matches this weekend, and they’re both against quality opposition. their first real test comes against fellow unbeaten club Valhalla, also on Friday, and face Northern Kentucky two days later on Sunday. Northern Kentucky will be looking to get back in the title hunt, and neither of those games will be as easy as the first two for Kings Hammer. those should all make for fun matches to follow!

predictions – Kings Hammer have ruled the league with an iron fist early on, but Valhalla took care of a very good Northern Kentucky side and could take the league leaders by surprise. I see Valhalla getting the win on Friday and never looking back, going on to win the league.

Hopefully you’ve enjoyed having some more info on some of the great local league soccer on offer at the moment!

Be sure to follow these leagues and keep up with what they’re doing, as well as the clubs involved in these leagues. Many of them are great additions to the lower-league community and well worth your support.

As always, thanks for reading and for supporting the lower leagues!

Stay weird and support local soccer!

Blessings,

Danny

By Danny Kotula

writer, founder, and owner of smallworld soccer. college student, soccer supporter, and underdog-lover. unashamed to follow Jesus, not cultural Christianity. the teams i support are all p trash rn: Atlanta United, Watford, Real Oviedo, Werder Bremen, and CS Herediano among many others.

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